Day 4: Monsoon Season in the Sierras

July 20th, 2018; Crabtree Meadows – Tyndall Creek: 8.3 miles

Monsoon moisture is no joke. Lightning just struck pretty much right outside my tent. So glad I have this nylon fabric to protect me! The thunder is pretty magnificent, but it’s hitting a little too close to home. If this journal post comes to a screeching end, at least you’ll know why!

So as you already surmised, I’m tucked away safe and sound – emphasis on sound, this thunder is deafening – in my tent. I’m actually kind of terrified, but all this writing is a good distraction! I honestly should be grateful for this experience, right? Not many people get to experience a monsoon in the Sierras!

So anyways, how did I find myself in this less than ideal situation? Well, we walked right into it! Unbeknownst to us, of course. We can’t get weather reports out here in the wilderness!

Fresh off the high of summiting Whitney, I was bright eyes and bushy tailed going into today’s journey. Skies were blue, sun was shining, and the temperature was perfect for a hike on the John Muir Trail. I felt good, hills didn’t look so big, and I felt strong. Since being on Whitney, my red blood cell count must’ve skyrocketed!

Sam’s knee is still bothering her, especially on the downhill. Mary Beth and I both donated to her one of our trekking poles to help lessen the load on her knee. So with her deficit on the downhills and mine on the uphills, together we make up one whole Mary Beth!

As noontime approached, I felt myself getting fatigued. The skies weren’t feeling any better, as they soon turned dark. After what seemed like an eternity of uphill, we found ourselves in an open meadow and what I consider to be the most beautiful art of this trip yet! The mountains were indescribable and pictures can’t hardly do them justice.

But we had to keep moving, as the clouds of doom were enclosing around us. Luckily we made it to below tree line when it started to drizzle and thunder. While we were going down, someone coming up warned us that the upcoming creek crossing was difficult to cross due to depth and strong current, likely getting worse because of the storm. With this information, we decided to stop right before Wright Creek and set up camp. And thank God we did. Within minutes of being in our tents, it started to pour. For 3 hours. Sam’s tent flooded and she was literally floating on her air mattress, requiring a quick and swift move. My tent flooded to a lesser extent, but I was prepared with my coffee cup and sunshirt. Every time the rain seems to end, it starts back up again. Frustrating doesn’t even begin to describe it. And that creek? They may as well rename it a river. Cause that thing is wild. Can’t wait to cross it in the morning!

We have a long and critical day tomorrow. Not only are we going over Forrester Pass, but we are meeting the resupply folks who are bringing in our food via pack mules!

Well, the thunder and lightening had ceased (for now), but the rain is still pouring. Can’t wait to start off the day tomorrow with soaking wet gear!

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